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June 8, 2007 Edition

The Mystery of the Frozen Brains by Marty Chan


The Mystery of the Graffiti Ghoul, by Marty Chan.


These are the first two installments in a new series about Marty's adventures growing up in a small town in Canada. As the only Chinese-Canadian kid in town, Mary gets harassed by both the French-Canadians and the English-Canadians, but is learning to hold his own. In “Frozen Brains,” Marty's convinced he and his family are from outer space - it's even worse than being Chinese! And, in “Graffiti Ghoul,” Marty's friend Remi has been accused of vandalizing the school. Going undercover, Marty and Remi try to find the real Ghoul before Remi gets suspended - or worse.

Hannah West in Deep Water


Hannah West in the Belltown Towers, by Linda Johns


This new series features 12 year-old Hannah, an aspiring detective and dog-sitter extraordinaire, in Seattle. Hannah and her adoptive mother don’t have their own house, instead, they spend weeks at a time housesitting and dog-sitting for others, which means Hannah keeps landing in the middle of mysteries. In “Deep Water,” Hannah is excited to be living on a houseboat in Portage Bay – until she sees someone dumping something strange in the bay. Is that what’s killing the fish? And, in “Belltown Towers,” someone is stealing paintings destined to be auctioned off for a local charity. Can Hannah and her best friend Lily find the thief before the auction is ruined?

Grooves: a kind of mystery, by Kevin Brockmeier


Dwayne Ruggles is so excited by his science teacher’s lesson on the amplification of sound that he starts listening to everything with his homemade loudspeaker and is astounded to hear a message in his jeans. When his friends Kevin and Emily get involved, Dwayne finds that some potato chips, too, carry a message: “Please. You must help us.” Both the jeans and the potato chips are made by the same company, and when the kids start investigating, they make some disturbing discoveries about the wealthy entrepreneur who owns the factory. Absurd and absorbing.

The Wright 3, by Blue Balliett


In this follow-up to the very popular “Chasing Vermeer,” Petra and Calder are joined by Calder’s former friend Tommy in looking for clues to the eerie events at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House. The famous architectural masterpiece is about to be torn down, and the kids’ sixth grade is trying to stop it, but the house isn’t cooperating. All of a sudden, people report hearing ghostly voices and seeing things move that shouldn’t (like the roof!). Can the three stop squabbling over who is whose friend and use their considerable (and varied) talents to solve the mystery and save the house as a team?

Looking for Alaska, by John Green


Intriguing chapter titles “136 Days Before,” and, “136 Days After” bracket the story of Miles Halter and his friends at the exclusive Culver Creek Boarding School. Miles has always been too smart for his peers at home, but when he arrives at his new school, he quickly finds himself accepted by a group of practical jokers headed by his roommate the Colonel and the lovely, but self-destructive, Alaska Young. Alaska’s presence and absence are the crux of the story, and there are no happy endings, just the harsh knowledge that not all mistakes in life can be made good. (Young Adult)

13 Little Blue Envelopes, by Maureen Johnson


Ginny’s favorite, unpredictable, artist aunt has passed away, leaving 17 year-old Ginny $1000 cash and a letter telling her to buy a passport and a one-way ticket to London. Another package contains 13 blue envelopes - an international scavenger hunt– as Ginny opens each in turn, she’s given a new task (adopting a starving artist is one) that brings her closer to Peg than ever before. Lightly romantic, definitely thought-provoking; everyone needs an Aunt Peg in her or his life. (Young Adult)

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